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Optical dipole traps are developed to confine few neutral atoms and make them available for controlled manipulations. This requires the trap to be large enough to reliably store several precooled atoms, and tight enough to allow manipulation at the level of individual motional states. In addition, all heating processes, part of which can be intrinsic to the trap itself, have to be strictly limited. To approach the regime of ion trap experiments it would be desirable to perform many experiments with the same atoms. This requires the atoms to stay trapped while rapidly scattering photons for state detection. Substantial trap depths (at least on the order of 1 mK) are therefore another prerequisite.